It was a normal day in September, I was eight years old, starting my day at Independence Elementary School.
We were three weeks into school, I was enjoying every moment. Before the end of the previous school year, our teachers sat us down and told everyone what teacher they were getting for the upcoming school year. This made everyone super excited because not only were you finding out your teacher, but all the friends that were going to be in your class as well. This was one super-exciting thing that we all looked forward to at the end of the school year. So, when my old teacher told us who would be in each class, I had my fingers crossed for Mrs. Shockley. She was the teacher that everyone wanted, and luckily I got her. It’s the first few weeks of school and I’m loving it, everything is going undoubtedly good, until I get home.
I ride the bus home from school and when I get home, my parents say they have something really important to tell my sister and I. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so I didn’t expect anything. Later that night, my whole family is sitting around the table getting ready to have this important talk. I remember them saying “we are moving away for a while” and my immediate reaction was negative because I was going to be leaving all my friends, my school, and I didn’t want to do that at all. They told my sister and me that we were moving away to Rhode Island for one year. I was only eight years old and didn’t know where that was, so that was scary to think about. I was definitely not on board about this, but it was something that my whole family needed to do for my dad. My dad was working for the government and wanted to go back to school to get his Master’s degree, he did this at the Naval War College.
The day comes when we have to pack up our whole house and hit the road. We didn’t end up selling our house because we were only going to be there for a year, so my parents didn’t really see a point. I had to pack everything that I needed for one year and leave everything else behind.
The hardest part about this whole experience was going to be leaving my best friend, Aven. She was a lot like me, she had light brown hair, her nails always painted, ripped jeans and always wearing a flannel. She was the person I confided everything in and told everything to. Being away from her for a year was going to be very difficult. My parents decided that we were going to be driving there, and the drive from Missouri to Rhode Island is around 21 hours, so it took us about three days to get there. If I’m being honest the drive was very brutal and long, I was happy when we got there just because we didn’t have to drive anymore. When we got there we moved all of our stuff into our new house. I was actually really excited for this because our new house was right on the ocean, and we could go to the beach whenever we wanted. That was probably the most amazing thing I had ever been able to do.
The one thing that was making me the most nervous about this new place was starting at a new school. The new school I was starting at was really unique. This was because it was an outdoor school, so each classroom was its own building and you had to walk outside to get to all the different classrooms. I had a really weird year, and this is because I got placed into a fourth grade class while I was a third grader. That meant that I basically skipped third grade and went straight to fourth grade. That school year was by far one of the most challenging for me. Throughout the year I had to have a tutor for my subjects, and this of course put a lot of stress on me because I just wanted to be able to enjoy school without the stress of being behind. I believe that made me a better student through being able to overcome those academic challenges. Although this was a difficult year, there were some good outcomes. Throughout the school year I only really made one connection. I made a friend and her name was Ella. She had short brown hair, wore square glasses, always wore a sweater, and loved wearing headbands. We had so much in common and wanted to do everything together. She was the glue that really held me together the whole time I was there.
Overall I believe this was something that molded me as a person, even though it was at such a young age. I think that it helped me open up to new people, and it made me more of an outgoing person . I wouldn’t change anything about my experience there because it was fun, and it was somewhere I had never been before.